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The February Locavore

Winter Vegetable Hash with Poached Eggs and Ancho Chili Ketchup

This Month’s Issue

*Two February recipes to fight the dormant season blues
*Three upcoming local food events
*One month away: The Mexican locavore

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*Two February recipes to fight the dormant season blues  (links in orange)

Vegetable Hash with Poached Eggs and Ancho Chili Ketchup

Winter Root Soup

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*Three upcoming local food events  (links in orange)

February 25, Farming Our Future, NOFA New York, 8am to 4:30pm, Taconic Hills School, Craryville, NY. (I’m a panel member & speaker.)  This First Annual Farming Our Future conference will engage the agriculture community to think about its work toward Growing Food, Farms and Community in the context of a rapidly changing local, regional and global food system. Just as the Hudson Valley sits at the crossroads of the consumer market positioned between the New York Metro area and New England, area farmers sit at the crossroads of the future of agriculture. Register: $20, $25 at the door.

March 19, Dig In! Food and Garden Conference, 8:30 to 4:30, Clarkson University Student Center, Potsdam, New York. (I’m the Keynote Speaker: Is Ketchup Really a Vegetable? Creating a Healthy Food Culture. Lectures include: What can I serve off season?) The conference is $50: Click here to register.

And a Berkshire Note: On March 2 at the Beard House in Manhattan, seven chefs from the Berkshire region will present “Preserving the Berkshire Harvest,” an evening showcasing time-honored preserving and curing methods with foods raised and harvested in the Berkshires. More information.

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*One month away: The Mexican locavore (Links in orange)

Just spent the month relaxing and walking my brains out in colonial San Miguel de Allende in Mexico with my husband, Tommy, and a pack of friends. Of course, being a local food freak, I visited varied markets, a vegetable farm, and a Green Drinks get together where regional activists connected over local organic munchies.

Tommy grew up in the region, so I’m familiar with the town and it’s culinary offerings. On this new visit, I was thrilled to see that the sustainable food (and green) movement is taking off. There’s a 3 year old market and cafe, Via Organica, that’s also a non-profit. They give classes at a demonstration farm, conduct regional farm tours, show eco-friendly movies and more.

The store stocks food from local farms, such as La Trinidad.  Several years ago, deep into winter, I visited the farm, a clean food escape from the dusty town. There, I scooped up healthy heads of floating greens from tanks of icy water. On this trip, a more formal farm stand was set up with an expanded repertoire of vegetables, including tender radishes and herbs. Before buying I walked the farm, peeking into a greenhouse lined with rows of deep green cacti. Surprise!  (Give it to Me Raw has pictures of farm stand later in the season.)

As always, price and class issues surround green food production, and San Miguel is no exception. The pros and cons of the burgeoning food revolution are illustrated by the new organic Saturday farmers market located at the upscale Rosewood complex. While the market helps local growers and food producers thrive, it mainly attracts gringos and others “haves.” Just as in The States, when it comes to sustainable food consumption, there is both an economic and cultural divide.

Still, the growth of the good food movement in San Miguel is exciting. And the market is upbeat setting to savor lunch, seek out distinctive local cheeses and other artisan foods. And, I adore picking up freshly harvested organic food in the middle of the winter. So, I loaded up on produce  and rushed home to made salads galore.

Improvised Mexican Market Salad

This refreshing salad successfully combines fruity and savory flavors. For the best results, cut the ingredients into half inch cubes and add the papaya for a final toss so it doesn’t break up. Serves about 4-6 as a side.

1 sweet onion, chopped
1 poblano chili, seeded and diced
About 1/4 cup olive oil
1 small jicoma, diced
About 1-1/2 cups papaya, diced
About 1-1/2 cups mango diced
2 handfuls fresh garbanzo beans, husked (optional)
chopped cilantro to taste
a generous pinch of salt
fresh lime juice to taste

1-Cook the onion and poblano in olive oil until softened.

2-Toss with the remaining ingredients, adding extra oil, lime juice and salt as necessary.

Left to right: Eileen Rosenthal, Naomi Alson, Tommy Powers and Marc Rosenthal, my dear friends and husband (center) making their way to a newly restored pyramid near San Miguel, Mexico.

 

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